Friends Of Boston Homeless, Inc.

aka Friends of Boston's Homeless   |   Boston, MA   |  www.fobh.org

Mission

Friends supports innovative, solutions-oriented programs that help our vulnerable neighbors experiencing homelessness move from the streets/shelters into safe, stable housing and connect to the supports and opportunities they need to rebuild their lives. We focus on removing the final barriers of transition that often programs, and the people they help, don’t have the means to cover. The final transition steps out of homelessness are often the most crucial, and we help make them happen. Like a Parent/Teachers Organization or “Friends of” group, Friends bridges the gap between public sector funding and the needs of the homeless by providing a vehicle for individuals, businesses, foundations and charitable organizations to be a part of the solution to homelessness.

Ruling year info

1988

Executive Director

Ms. Mariann Bucina Roca

Main address

12 Wise Street

Boston, MA 02130 USA

Show more contact info

Formerly known as

Friends of Long Island Shelter

Friends of Boston's Long Island Shelter

EIN

22-2866770

NTEE code info

Raising & Fund Distribution (Lun)

Homeless Services/Centers (P85)

Temporary Shelter For the Homeless (L41)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

End chronic homelessness, prevent people from becoming chronically homeless and help newly housed remain house and/or enroll in workforce/career development programs to achieve financial and housing independence, by filling critical gaps in funding so people can move directly and quickly from the streets and shelters into safe, dignified housing and connect to the supports they need to rebuild their lives.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

1. Housing Start-up Fund

Housing People First ends homelessness by providing immediate housing for people who struggle on the streets and in shelters, and once housed, connecting them to the comprehensive support services they need to remain housed and rebuild their lives. Housing First ends this tragedy by placing people right from the streets/shelters into housing – immediately improving their quality of life. Once housed, people are connected with health care providers/case managers, engage in support groups, establish routines, build relationships with friends and family, and move on to more independent living, decreasing their need for services over time. The most significant barrier to immediately housing people however are Housing Start-up Expenses. Because all are homeless, their savings are for security deposits, first/last non-existent and none have essential furniture/household items. Friends innovative Housing First Start-up Fund immediately removes these final barriers by covering these expenses.

Population(s) Served
Adults
Social and economic status
Veterans
Unemployed people

Serving Ourselves (SOS) Vocational Training Program addresses the barriers to success people experiencing homelessness face thru paid vocational training, work experience and comprehensive social services. SOS teaches job-readiness skills in marketable trades that pay a living wage. Participants earn minimum wage, receive health care benefits, and participate weekly in workshops held in the Career Center. Participants gain stability and build the skills necessary to become self-sufficient. In 2017, Friends' expanded its successful Housing Start-up Fund to include critical Career Start-up to cover one-time course/exam/certification fees and other new job essentials. For many, rewarding employment is an important part of stability. Like housing start-up costs however, fees for certification courses or exams are cost prohibitive for people transitioning out of homelessness. Covering these costs helps people overcome these barriers and ultimately achieve financial and housing independence.

Population(s) Served
Homeless people
Adults
Veterans
Unemployed people

Lack of education and job skills are often significant barriers to some experiencing homelessness’ ability to find and maintain gainful employment and thus safe, stable housing. The Career Centers provides education, job readiness, and independent living skills to people experiencing homelessness and assists them in defining and reaching their educational and employment goals. Classes and tutorials are provided in reading, writing, math, GED, pre-GED, and Computer Literacy. The Career Center also provides student assessment, advising, and application assistance for financial aid and college entrance, and referrals to community adult education programs and colleges in the Boston area. Job Readiness classes include; resume writing, interviewing skills, job search techniques, and problem solving/conflict resolution in the workplace. About 85% of students participating in GED classes obtain their GED (or High School Diplomas) and 72% of job readiness clients go on to gainful employment.

Population(s) Served
Homeless people
Adults
Veterans
Unemployed people
Ex-offenders

Valentine Street fills a gap in vital services in Boston by providing safe, supportive housing to women transitioning out of homelessness and whose children are temporarily in the foster care system or residing with friends and family. Located in a beautiful Mansard Victorian in Roxbury, Valentine provides 7 units of safe, supportive, affordable housing where women gain the skills, education, income, and stability needed to become self-sufficient, reunite with their children and lead independent lives. A Case Manager works with residents to address the challenges facing formerly homeless women including domestic violence, addiction, mental health disabilities, insufficient education and lack of job skills and work experience. Women also receive family reunification assistance and help transitioning into appropriate housing with their children. Visitation with children and family is an integral part of the program.

Population(s) Served
Adults
Women and girls

Where we work

Affiliations & memberships

AFP (Association of Fundraising Professionals) 1996

Women in Development 1997

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Number of people no longer living in unsafe or substandard housing as a result of the nonprofit's efforts

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Adults, Ethnic and racial groups, Health, Women, LGBTQ people

Related Program

1. Housing Start-up Fund

Type of Metric

Context - describing the issue we work on

Direction of Success

Increasing

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

1. End chronic homelessness through Housing First strategies, and subsequently supporting the services that stabilize people once housed so they don't return to homelessness.

2. Support programs to reduce reliance on shelter and prevent new people from becoming chronically homeless including Rapid Rehousing, Front Door Triage, and Coordinated Access. Data show the majority of people experiencing homelessness are not chronically homeless but instead experience “crisis homelessness”. Many of those individuals will resolve their own homeless episode with little to no intervention, but others will need some assistance in order to regain stability. Rapid Rehousing is an important tool to move people back to housing and prevent non-chronically homeless individuals from falling into chronic homelessness.

3. Continue to expand our Housing Start-up Fund to assist newly housed people on their paths to independence by covering one-time exam, professional certification/licensing fees and/or one-time fees to enroll in training or education programs to help them secure gainful employment, fulfill career goals and ultimately achieve housing and financial independence.

4. Build a broad base of public, private, and non-profit partners to support this work in the City of Boston.

5. Collaborate with other private organizations, city and state agencies, shelters, and foundations to support strategies to address homeless trends including a focus on the growing elderly and young adult homeless population.

People experiencing homelessness have myriad vulnerabilities. They suffer from complex health and mental health disabilities that are essentially impossible to address amidst the chaos of homelessness. They are also often victims of crime, their safety constantly at risk. Housing people first through Housing First and Rapid Rehousing strategies, ends this tragedy by placing our community’s vulnerable people in housing first.

-Moves people quickly from the streets/shelters into their own apartments – immediately ending their homelessness and improving their quality of life.

-By removing the chaos of living on the streets and in shelters, people finally can, and do, engage in services and go on to live stable independent lives.

-Demonstrates that once people are housed they connect with health care providers and case managers, engage in support groups, establish routines, build relationships with family, friends, and community, and move on to more independent living – decreasing their need for services over time.

The most significant barrier to immediately housing people is Housing Start-up Costs: security deposits, first/last month’s rent, initial rental gaps, and essential furniture and household items like beds and linens we all need for our new homes. Because all are homeless, their savings are usually non-existent and none have furniture or other household items we need to make our house a home.

For many gainful employment is a vital part of stability, but like housing start-up most lack the resources to achieve it. For those who can and desire to work, our Start-up fund covers one-time costs for certification/licensing/exam, and course fees to help newly housed people secure gainful employment, pursue careers, and ultimately lead rewarding lives and achieve independence.

Our Housing & Career Start-up Fund

-Fills a critical gap in funding by covering initial housing costs, like security deposits and first month’s rent, to help move people quickly from the streets/shelters right into safe, dignified housing: immediately ending their homelessness and improving their quality of life.

-Provides essential furniture and household items like new beds and linens for people as they move into their own apartments and gets them started on their journey to living peaceful, hopeful lives.

-Covers one-time exam/certification/licensing fees, vocational training registration or other work-related items to help newly housed people achieve independence.

-Ends homelessness & transforms lives – providing a dignified, successful, and cost-saving solution for people struggling with homelessness, their families, and our community as a whole.

Working closely with program staff, who identify client needs, our flexible Fund allows us to respond quickly to secure a unit, order furniture or hire movers to deliver donated items. In Boston’s competitive housing market, timing is critical: landlords won’t wait and people cannot move into an empty apartment.

Friends is distinguished by our unique public/private partnership with Boston Public Health Commission's Homeless Services Bureau. Like a PTO or “Friends of the Public Library” group, we bridge the gap between public sector funding and the needs of people experiencing homelessness.

Our Fund is a perfect example. Working with Boston’s highly successful Housing First/Rapid Rehousing programs, our Fund bridges the gap between public sector funds and the need to help people move directly and quickly from the streets/shelters into dignified housing and connect with the services they need to live hopeful, peaceful lives. Our Fund is a focused initiative that provides critical “but for” funds to achieve this.

Working closely with program staff, who identify client needs, our flexible Fund allows us to respond quickly to secure a unit, order furniture or hire movers to deliver donated items. In Boston’s competitive housing market, timing is critical: landlords won’t wait and people cannot move into an empty apartment.

Our Housing and Career Start-up fund is unique and fills a citywide gap in funding by providing the focused and flexible “but for” funds necessary to quickly house individuals. Our start-up funds are easily accessible and are not provided by any other organization in the city. Recently, Friends Director joined a working group convened by three local hospitals who are collaborating on an Innovative Stable Housing Initiative (ISHI) to identify opportunities to support and enhance existing efforts to promote housing stability in Boston. The newly formed ISHI Flex Fund Committee is seeking to replicate or access a similar fund as our Housing and Career Start-up to avoid the bureaucratic delays most agencies face when trying to help individuals into housing.

Long-term, we’ve set aside funds in a cash reserve totaling one year of operating expenses in case of a catastrophic event and maintain a reserve for replacement fund for capital improvements to our community housing programs. With a small staff and office in the basement of one of our Community Houses, overhead costs are low. As our staff ages, this year we will also develop a Succession Plan to ensure a smooth transition. As our Board also ages, we recently created a Young Professional Advisory Board that reflects our ability to evaluate our organization, identify trends, and develop new programs to address these trends and donors to support them.

We continue to build relationships with current donors and partners through good stewardship and work to identify new supporters by implementing a number of strategies (major gifts, grant writing, sponsorships, events, volunteerism, email marketing/social media campaigns, housewarming registry) to build and maintain a broad base of supporters to continue to expand our work and serve more people in need.

Since 2009, our Housing Start-up Fund has helped over 3,500 people move into safe, dignified, permanent housing (27% slept in places not meant for human habitation prior to being housed). Today over 90% remain housed. in addition, those housed reduced emergency room visits by 54%; the number of people with substance issues participating in treatment/recovery increased to 87%, and within 18 months, about 30% achieved gainful employment, increased benefits, and were able to maintain their housing without ongoing subsidies.

And our Career Start-up Fund has now helped over 150 people obtain professional certifications that give them a competitive edge in the job market, fulfill their career goals, and secure gainful rewarding employment, and ultimately achieve housing and financial independence. They’ve become EMTs and Certified Nursing Assistants, restaurant managers and sous chefs, phlebotomists and pharmacy techs, construction safety managers and steam firemen, recovery coaches and counselors.

In 2022 and looking ahead five years, our yearly program goals and objectives are:

• Help end chronic homelessness in Boston by helping house at least 300 chronically homeless people through Housing First initiatives and supporting the services that stabilize people once housed so they do not return to homelessness.
• Help house a minimum of 300 people identified through Rapid Rehousing and Front Door Triage strategies and in subsequent years; expand to help 400 people yearly so they don’t become chronically homeless.
• Provide Career Start-up support for at least 50 people by expanding and coordinating access to skill training, education and specialized employment services that meet their needs and aspirations.
• As we fulfill the above goals, partner with other small organizations serving other groups of people experiencing homelessness such as families and the elderly, to provide Start-up support for their clients.
• Continue to build a broad base of public, private, and non-profit partners to support this work.

Financials

Friends Of Boston Homeless, Inc.
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

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Friends Of Boston Homeless, Inc.

Board of directors
as of 1/13/2022
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Mr. John Rosenthal

President, Meredith Management Corporation

Term: 2021 - 2024

Tamar Auerbach

Aria Development Group

Manny Costa

President & CEO, Costa Produce

Jennifer Malboeuf Crampton

Wells Fargo

Robert Haynes

President, Haynes & Associates

Fern Kaplan

President, The Kaplan Company

Marie Keutmann

Vice President, MMA Financial (Retired)

James Kurland

President, The Baker Boys

Matthew Lindley

Director, Brand Engagement and Innovation, SapientNitro

Gary Matsko

Attorney at Law, Davis, Malm & D’Agostine

Austin O'Connor

President, The Briar Group

Katherine Provost

Program Coordinator, Wayland Housing Authority

John Rosenthal

President, Meredith Management Corporation

Josh Rosenthal

Managing Principal, Hanover Strategies

KImberly Kelliher

Assistant Director, Tax Credit Asset Management

Brett Larson

Partner, Ouroboros Group LLC

David Crowley

Partner, Cummings & Crowley

Bob Guillemin

Artist & Community Activist

Eric Rollo

Broker, William Raveis Realty

Michael Pascavage

Principal, Design & Development Solutions, LLC

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? No
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? No
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? No
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? No
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? No

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 01/06/2022

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Female
Sexual orientation
Decline to state
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

No data

Gender identity

No data

 

No data

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

No data